There is no better way to spark debate than to question a person’s beliefs and opinions. These grow from what we see, hear, experience, read and think about. Charles P. Pierce is convinced that carefully thought out opinions, those derived from science and logic, are being trampled by a zealous, poorly informed opposition. He presents his reasons for thinking this in his book, Idiot America – How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free. Pierce believes that this vocal opposition springs from ideas that in the past wouldn’t get any further than a soapbox on the corner of a city street. But today, Pierce thinks these ideas are able to gather a large following because “Idiot America” believes:
– Any theory is valid if it sells books, soaks up ratings, or otherwise moves units.
– Fact is that which enough people believe. Truth is determined by how fervently they believe it.
– Anything can be true if someone says it loudly enough.
Pierce presents a significant number of examples of what he defines as gullibility in both the public’s perception of events, and in decision making by politicians. A few of the issues his book addresses: the Creation-Evolution debate, Artificial Life Support, The War on Terror and Climate Change.
In a 2014 post in Esquire, Mr. Pierce continues to discuss Climate Change. He is passionately anti-anyone who doesn’t believe as he does.
The political viability of climate change denial gets more preposterous by the day, which is not to say that it doesn’t remain effective. We are gradually coming to a consensus of denial in which we see the effects of climate change as a series of random phenomena, to be studied individually, but never to be linked effectively enough to require national action.
Ironically, he doesn’t discuss the fact that it is the Climate Change supporters, and their fear mongering claims of random phenomena, that fuel the fire of climate change denial.
If you believe that the Dinosaurs lived peacefully with humans, and that all living things arrived on the earth about 6000 years ago, you might not like this book. If you are a fan of Rush Limbaugh you also may not like this book. At the very least, however, you should read the book and then peer inside your head to see what you base your opinions on.
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